The son of a coach, Andrew Titus knew he wanted to become a coach himself one day.
But Titus never imagined he would be leading a big school football program at the age of 22. Still, the 2018 Hauser graduate is the Jennings County boys’ head football coach.
“Since I was a kid, I always told my dad that I wanted to be a coach,” Andrew said. “The coaches I had, and my dad being a coach, pushed me to pursue it because I wanted to impact these kids’ lives like I was impacted by the sport.”
Titus played football and basketball at Hauser and football at Huntington University. He graduated from Huntington in May with a degree in exercise science and works part-time as a rehabilitation aide at Athletico Physical Therapy in Greensburg.
When Jennings County needed an assistant boys’ football coach this fall, Andrew’s dad, Jonathan, told him about the opening.
“My dad had told me since he was a teacher in Jennings County that they needed a coach,” Andrew said. “So I was ready to step in and coach football since I had the experience of playing in college.”
The direction of the Panthers program took a turn about three weeks ago when head coach Seth Hall abruptly resigned. Andrew Titus assumed the role of head coach.
“They’ve been resilient,” Andrew said. “I know a coaching change can’t be easy for high school kids in the middle of a season, but they persevered and were very resilient through the process, which was easy for me to take the lead. rise.”
Andrew has a confident personality by his side. He enlisted Jonathan as an assistant coach.
“The DA (Cory Stevens) came up to me and said, ‘How about making your dad the assistant since he’s already at the games, and that way he can get paid to be there,” Andrew said. “I thought it was a good idea. “It was fun having dad on the sidelines. relieves me. It was good to have him here.
Hope native Jonathan Titus was part of the original group that started playing football in Columbus when the sport came to town. He coached Andrew at the youth level in soccer and basketball.
“We’ve been around since he was in elementary school,” Jonathan said. “He thinks I know the game. I think I know the game.”
Jonathan spent time as the Head Girls and Boys Basketball Coach and Assistant Baseball Coach at Southwestern (Shelby). He is in his 31st year of teaching, including his 18th year at Jennings County.
Jonathan said the principles of coaching in basketball and soccer aren’t that different.
“Kids are kids,” Jonathan said. “As I said (Andrew), you have to be positive and encouraging. If you can figure out what triggers a kid… some guys you kind of have to lean on them, some kids you have to pat their backs over and over, but if you find out what they react to, I don’t think it doesn’t matter to what sport it is. Since I was a basketball coach and a baseball coach, some kids react to different things. I told him when he started they need to know you care before they care about what you know.
Andrew walked into a tough spot at Jennings. The Panthers are 1-10 after Thursday’s 8-0 loss at Columbus East.
But he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
“They started working a lot harder,” Andrew said. “All season they’ve improved, and that’s what I can ask of a young team. My seniors, the four captains, have been great trying to lead these guys, trying to help me as a team. head coach for the first time. These kids are great kids and they work hard for me, so that’s all I can ask for.
Andrew, who helped Hauser win a sectional basketball title as a junior in 2017, also hopes to coach some basketball at some point.
“The basketball coach is on the line,” Andrew said. “Maybe I’ll bring the old man here to come out of retirement for basketball too.”